For Emma is a vintage mixed media collage made primarily with ephemera from old books. I love to go to flea markets and garage sales to find old books and other ‘treasures’ that are falling apart and ready to be recycled into new art. ‘Ephemera’ is defined by Google as, “items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.” Things like ticket stubs, ads, old letters and envelopes, postcards, stamps, sewing patterns, posters, packaging, bubble gum cards, greeting cards, etc. I’m always looking for unique items that make me feel like I’m looking back though time, getting small glimpses into the lives of people who lived long ago. ‘Vintage’ is a term that may be a bit harder to pin down. How old does an object have to be to be considered vintage? The best definition I found comes from the Urban Dictionary: “Too old to be considered modern, but not old enough to be considered antique.”
This vintage mixed media collage was sparked by a poem I found written, in pencil, on the end page of a very old book:
Remember me when death shall close
These eyelids in their last repose
And when the wind doth gently wave
The grass that grows upon my grave
It’s signed: Emma K. I don’t know who Emma was, or whether she wrote the poem or simply copied it down, and I have no idea what prompted her to do so. But this was something personal, from the life of someone perhaps from a different century, and it inspired me. You may think it’s sad, but that’s part of life, isn’t it? I think we have all contemplated the ephemeral nature of life at one time or another. I glued the page onto an old book cover, and added some other pieces of ephemera. The other side of the cover was printed with a landscape scene, and I decided to cover it only partially, with an old Japanese postcard and a couple of lines from other books. The final touch was part of a butterfly photo, which I embellished with lace and stitching.